Over the weekend, reports emerged that Twitter was readying a new algorithmic timeline that would come as soon as this week. Users freaked out for fear that Twitter was going to mess with their user experience.
As things often do on Twitter, the anxiety got completely carried away and #RIPTwitter became a thing. CEO Jack Dorsey even had to jump in and calm people down tweeting, “We never planned to reorder timelines next week.”
Well, that’s kind of true. Twitter just announced the new Timeline. Here’s the thing though. You have to activate it yourself. To get this new experience, you have to actually go into your settings and make it happen.
In other words, this is just another option for using Twitter, and some people may benefit from it. From the Twitter blog:
Here’s how it works. You flip on the feature in your settings; then when you open Twitter after being away for a while, the Tweets you’re most likely to care about will appear at the top of your timeline – still recent and in reverse chronological order. The rest of the Tweets will be displayed right underneath, also in reverse chronological order, as always. At any point, just pull-to-refresh to see all new Tweets at the top in the live, up-to-the-second experience you already know and love.
We’ve already seen that people who use this new feature tend to Retweet and Tweet more, creating more live commentary and conversations, which is great for everyone. To check it out now, just go into the timeline section of your settings and choose ‘Show me the best Tweets first’. We’ll be listening to your feedback and making it even better over time. Then we’ll be turning on the feature for you in coming weeks — look out for a notification in your timeline. We love it and think you will too. If you don’t, send your thoughts our way, and you can easily turn it off in settings.
Perhaps freaking out wasn’t necessary after all.
More options are always a good thing and can go a long way toward making a service more useful to more people. And Twitter needs to do that. User growth has continued to be a problem for Twitter since it went public, and anything it can do to retain the users it has hooked is of critical importance.
This could help in that department, and the opt-in nature of it should keep core users from jumping ship (even if many have been overly dramatic already).
Image via Wikimedia Commons